Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor

Letters to the Editor

Joseph Greenberg’s fine article on The Father of Invention erred in one point, in the first paragraph. That is, the ownership of the famous blue LED patent was not at issue. The issue was how much money Nakamura was entitled to as compensation for an invention made by him as a company employee. The initial payment was ¥20,000, the sum awarded by the Tokyo District Court was ¥20,000,000,000 (yes, billion), and the amount settled at through a mediation at the Tokyo High Court was ¥843,000,000. This suit and another high profile one, against Olympus, led to the revision later that year, in 2005, to a revision of the Patent Law, Article 35, to provide for reasonable compensation under the circumstances, subject to company rules, contracts, and employees’ opinions. Incidentally, Nakamura is now a Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, I presume using his payment to invest in high-tech stocks here and abroad.

Stephen Harris
Tokyo

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business